Exhibition

As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

On view June 17 through December 3, 2023

Explore Black identity through a compelling compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. Drawn from Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Wedge Collection in Toronto, a Black-owned collection dedicated to artists of African descent, As We Rise looks at the myriad experiences of Black life through the lenses of community, identity and power.

Organized by Aperture, New York, the exhibition features more than 100 works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States and South America, as well as throughout the African continent. Black subjects depicted by Black photographers are presented as they wish to be seen , recognizing the complex strength, beauty and vulnerability of Black life.

Texas Isaiah, Liz Johnson Artur, Seydou Keïta, Deana Lawson, Jamel Shabazz and Carrie Mae Weems, touch on themes of agency, beauty, joy, belonging, subjectivity and self-representation. Writings by Isolde Brielmaier, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Mark Sealy, Teka Selman and Deborah Willis, among others, provide insight and commentary on this monumental collection.

As We Rise: Photographs from the Black Atlantic is organized by Aperture, New York and curated by Elliott Ramsey (curator, Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver). This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation. Additional support was provided by individuals who support the Exhibition Innovation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

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TOP IMAGE: Dawit L. Petros, Hadenbes (detail), 2005, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy the artist/Bradley Ertaskiran.

Zun Lee, Jebron Felder and his son Jae’shaun at home, Harlem, New York, September 2011, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Zun Lee, from the Father Figure Project.
Zun Lee, Jebron Felder and his son Jae’shaun at home, Harlem, New York, September 2011, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Zun Lee, from the Father Figure Project.
Texas Isaiah, My Name Is My Name I, 2016, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © Texas Isaiah.
Texas Isaiah, My Name Is My Name I, 2016, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © Texas Isaiah.
Xaviera Simmons, Denver, 2008, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy the artist and David Castillo.
Xaviera Simmons, Denver, 2008, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy the artist and David Castillo.
James Barnor, Drum Cover Girl Erlin Ibreck, Kilburn, London, 1966, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Autograph ABP
James Barnor, Drum Cover Girl Erlin Ibreck, Kilburn, London, 1966, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Autograph ABP
Kennedi Carter, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2020, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Kennedi Carter.
Kennedi Carter, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2020, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Kennedi Carter.
Lebohang Kganye, Re shapa setepe sa lenyalo II, 2013, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © Lebohang Kganye.
Lebohang Kganye, Re shapa setepe sa lenyalo II, 2013, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © Lebohang Kganye.